Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 143C
Course Title:
B&W Photography II (Darkroom)
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers advanced darkroom techniques. Utilizes a broad range of advanced darkroom processes to further develop problem-solving skills and create prints. Includes critiques, discussion and presentations to establish more sophisticated skills to evaluate prints. Requires access to a film, SLR (single-lens-reflex) camera with manual exposure controls. This is the third course of a three-course sequence for second year darkroom photography. Prerequisites: Two terms of ART143 or ART143B or instructor permission. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The goal of this advanced level class is for students to achieve a high technical and conceptuallevel of ability, from which they will build an artistic and expressive portfolio of photographs. It willprovide a hands-on experience in all aspects of black-and-white photography: advancedtechniques involving film development, printing, finishing, and the presentation of photographicimagery. Particular attention will be paid to the creation of personal photographic language, basedon furthering the students technical knowledge, graphic principles, exposure to the history of themedium, and the continuing development of conceptual abilities through critical evaluation ofphotographic images.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:• Understand, interpret and enjoy black and white photography from past to present in a local aswell as global context at an advanced level.• Ask advanced questions about photography informed by complex ideas and issues, withappropriate vocabulary.• Find and develop creative ways to solve artistic and conceptual problems using a variety ofenvironmentally sustainable strategies.• Create advanced photographic work that is personally significant & fulfilling.• Navigate challenges & opportunities of working in a community photographic studio.

Course Activities and Design

• Create prints that incorporate a variety of technical skills with an awareness of the inherentcharacteristics of different print processes and formats.• Generate increasingly sophisticated ideas/concepts with an awareness of the intended contentof the work produced.• Build upon current skill set with the intent of working towards technical proficiency andprofessional quality.• Develop safe studio practices in regards to the handling of tools, chemicals and machinerywithin a communal studio space.• Further expand and utilize the necessary vocabulary specific to advanced black and whitedarkroom photography when participating in class critiques and discussions.• Increase proficiency in assessing and self-critiquing personal work to strategize creativesolutions.• Develop personal work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working inblack and white darkroom photography.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

• Complete and present the individual work within a professional studio critique.• Understand and integrate the vocabulary and concepts necessary to engage within a studioenvironment• Demonstrate appropriate techniques in advanced printing and studio habits beyond theclassroom studio• Demonstrate ability to meet printing deadlines with proper time management andcraftsmanship.• Prepare portfolios for professional presentation.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

• Visual awareness and ability to see.• Methodologies for designing and creating a photographic print.• Challenges to visualization inherent in advanced black and white darkroom photography.• Language of photography and the qualities that distinguish it from other photographic, print andgraphic as well as new media.• Photography in history.• Options and possibilities for original work.• Evaluating prints.• Safety.• Environmental concerns related to materials, chemicals, and proper disposal of waste.• Non-traditional media and combined techniques (e.g., alternative developing, processing andprinting techniques)SKILLS AND METHODOLOGIES Advanced exposure techniques: Discussion of how the light meter works, use of a gray card,exposing for the shadows, and of the relationship between exposure, development, and contrast.Difficult metering situations, and their possible solutions, will be presented. The effects of color andpolarizing filters on black-and-white film, and on exposure, will be covered.Advanced B/W printing methods: Introduce poly-contrast fiber-base paper, and discuss thedifferences from resin-coated paper, in processing steps, tone-response, and color range;introduce methods of adjusting overall and local contrast through use of multiple contrast filters,and split-printing; demonstrate the use of bleach as a contrast/density control; demonstrate howcolor toners (sepia, blue), home-made dyes (tea, coffee, or vegetable), and photographic oils addcolor to black-and-white prints.Print Finishing and Presentation: Review the dry-mounting process; discuss selection ofappropriate mounting surfaces; present alternatives to mounting on matt board, and the conceptualramifications of various forms of presentation, including the sequence, the series, thedyptych/triptych, and the book; familiarize the student with traditional and alternative forms ofprofessional presentation. Developing Visual Literacy: Present photography as a visual language, with its own fluid syntax;familiarize students with critical terms and vocabulary; present historical issues and styles ofphotography; discuss contemporary trends and movements; promote articulation of thoughts andemotional responses to photographs; discuss relevant issues regarding the cross-fertilization ofphotography to other graphic and artistic media.